Widowhood dating: You can’t make this stuff up

Many a widow or single woman has lamented the discomfort, distress and disappointment of dating after decades of being in a loving, comfortable relationship. I’m writing this column after a series of unfortunate circumstances that one evening led to a date basically being canceled by a guy I hardly know.

It all started a few months ago when this man — I’ll call Fred — called me upon a friend’s recommendation. This was good; I didn’t have to deal with the online dating world.

The phone call led us to meeting at a local bar for a beer weeks later because I had major surgery and was recuperating. We parted after two hours of conversation in which his last words to me were “Text me anytime or call me if you need something.” I didn’t know what that meant. I didn’t hear from him for weeks and figured he just wasn’t interested.

One day I got a random text from Fred wishing me a good day and asking how I was. I said fine and wished him well. I received a couple more texts over the following weeks — more exchanges of pleasantries. The next week, I suggested we do something, which was warmly received and plans were made for a Saturday night dinner and movie. It took some texts and a phone conversation to set this up. I was looking forward to it and waited on the back porch at the prescribed time. Apparently, I made the fatal mistake of not waiting on the front porch.

I kept checking the driveway for his arrival. The house was locked and my phone was in my purse. When he was fifteen minutes late, I thought I was being stood up. I texted him with a question mark and called him and got his voice mail. Finally, I got a text from him that said he knocked on the front door to no avail, called me (on my land line, not my cell?) and got my voice mail. That, it seems, led to a hasty retreat.

Repeated calls and texts from me before and within minutes of his text asking how we could salvage this went unanswered for several hours. I found out later he went to the movie alone. We could have, at least, salvaged it with a dinner after he was out of the movie. Apparently, my “error” was too serious to repair because that was the end of it.

A much later text that night said he figured I stood him up, which had happened to him with other women. Who would even admit this to someone they hardly know?

This experience shook me up. Could someone be this rigid and unforgiving for such a small misunderstanding? Does he have no self-esteem? I wanted to bawl. It was a beautiful spring night and I was psyched to go out. Instead, I found myself at home alone at 4 pm with nothing to do. I could not believe a guy would be so quick to dismiss our plans because I made the mistake of waiting on the back deck instead of the front porch.

This isn’t fun. Please tell me it will get better.





About Marti Benedetti

I'm a longtime writer and a widow. I want to share my thoughts and experiences of being single in my 50s and beyond after being married to the same man and raising kids for 28 years. It's not the journey I signed up for, but the one I'm living with. I hope I can offer up some thoughts, chuckles and comfort for those in a similar boat.
This entry was posted in dating after widowhood, widow dating and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Widowhood dating: You can’t make this stuff up

  1. Carol Johnston says:

    Oh Marti – this sucks!! It does sound like he would be needy and a bit of an albatross (sp?). And so un-Tom-like. They say everything happens for a reason – perhaps you were meant to be on the back porch and missing this encounter.
    I am thinking of you and want to get together soon.
    Big hugs – Carol
    PS: today is Connor’s 21st birthday. We are taking him and 3 friends out to dinner tonight. Where do the years go?

  2. Karen Mantyk says:

    Hi Marti: When I read this I wanted to cry as I knew how upsetting this must have been for you. Dating just should not have to be this hard. I guess the only thing I can tell you is, it just was not meant to be. There was clearly a miscommunication on both of your parts but he did not have to be so sensitive to it. In the future I guess you may want to be more specific about how you will be meeting with the person but with another guy it may not be an issue at all. I am sure it will get better. I dated a few frogs before my prince showed up. We’ll talk more when I see you. xo Karen

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